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Panamanian salsa vocalist Leo Almengor did not originally intend to earn his fame as a singer. Almengor's first media successes were as a model and actor, having appeared on more than 50 commercials by the age of 13. The only musical inspiration Leo had growing up was his brother, who liked to sing and often accompanied Leo on his professional engagements. As an adolescent, Leo came to know Lali Carrizo and David Choy, two producers who recommended that he consider a career as a singer. With a little nudging, he entered a number of talent competitions, which ultimately led to opportunities to work in a different part of the advertising industry: jingles. As Almengor amassed more experience as a singer, so did invitations for public performances, and ultimately an invitation to sing coro with Johnny Rivera's band. Almengor quickly established himself as a competent singer with great stage presence, opening doors to work with some of salsa's finest bandleaders like Maelo Ruiz, Ismael Miranda, and others. While working with the salsa greats, Almengor developed his own repertoire, working in Puerto Rico to record his first outing as a solo artist. The independent label that had signed him tanked, and Leo's debut salsa record never saw the light of day. Frustrated and discouraged, Almengor chose to make a huge change in his artistic direction, and set out to record an album favoring ballads and pop styles. After a year and a half, Almengor's debut disc, Historia de 2, was picked up by Sony Music and released. Leo proceeded to tour throughout Central America promoting the record, sharing the stage with artists like Chayanne and Victor Manuelle. Almengor's participation in the telenovela Vivimos un Secreto earned him recognition throughout Latin America and provided his music with a significant audience. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez